Looking back at Vice President Saulos Chilima’s Two-Year Silence: Was It A Strategic Calculus or Political Pause?

By Burnett Munthali 

Vice President Saulos Chilima’s deliberate silence over a two-year period sparked intrigue and speculation within Malawi’s political landscape. As a prominent figure known for his pivotal role in both government and opposition circles, Chilima’s decision to remain out of the public eye raised questions and garnered various interpretations.

Chilima’s period of silence appeared rooted in strategic political calculation. Following his break from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the formation of the United Transformation Movement (UTM), his silence was seen as a tactical maneuver to assess political dynamics, consolidate support within his party, and strategize for future electoral challenges. By refraining from public engagements, Chilima aimed to avoid potential controversies and carefully planned his next political moves.

Within the UTM and broader political circles, Chilima’s silence served to address internal party dynamics and strengthen party cohesion. This period was utilized for internal restructuring, fostering unity among party members, and refining the party’s policy agenda. By maintaining a low profile, Chilima focused on nurturing grassroots support and solidifying the UTM’s position as a viable alternative in Malawian politics.

Silence in politics often plays a role in shaping public perception. Chilima’s period of relative quietude aimed at crafting a specific public image of thoughtful leadership, strategic restraint, and stability. By staying out of public controversies and refraining from immediate political confrontations, he sought to maintain a positive public image and bolster credibility among voters.

The timing of Chilima’s return to public visibility was pivotal. This calculated approach would have allowed him to reemerge at strategic moments, such as electoral campaigns or critical policy debates, where his voice and influence could have maximum impact. This strategic timing underscored his careful navigation of Malawi’s political currents and his readiness to address pressing national issues with renewed vigor and purpose.


In conclusion, Vice President Saulos Chilima’s two-year period of silence was a deliberate and strategic choice amidst Malawi’s evolving political landscape. While it fueled speculation and analysis, his calculated approach likely reflected a blend of political strategy, internal party dynamics, image management, and careful timing. As Malawi progresses towards future elections and policy debates, Chilima’s reengagement promises to shape the country’s political discourse and electoral outcomes in significant ways.

This article explores the nuanced aspects of Vice President Saulos Chilima’s silence, providing insights into its strategic implications within the context of Malawi’s dynamic political environment. Unfortunately, Chilima’s political script has been left incomplete after the Chikangawa forest plane crash.

While silence in politics can be a strategic tool when used judiciously, it carries inherent risks and disadvantages that must be carefully managed. Effective communication, timely engagement, and strategic foresight are essential to mitigate these drawbacks and maintain credibility and influence in political arenas

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